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Wildersmith on the Gunflint - Apr 23

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Wildersmith Sign Only

Wildersmith on the Gunflint     by     Fred Smith
April 23, 2021    

Month four along the Gunflint has whizzed by, and we head into the final verse as this weeks’ scoop hits the air. All has been quiet in this neighborhood as roadside snow banks wither and mud is firming up.                                                                                             
 Enthusiasm is building to get out on the lakes as hard water on the big lakes is giving way to open patches. Reports from Seagull and Saganaga Lakes tell of rippling bays while Gunflint is open only at the west end at the moment.                                                                          
At Wildersmith our Gunflint Lake shore line is open as I started this report last Sunday evening. The annual meltdown from northwest to southeast is pretty certain to be completed by this weekend if not stalled by a cold snap.                                                                                           
Whatever the timing, I’m in hope winds will remain calm during the solids to liquid transition so as not to stack too much ice along the shore. The annoying shore line build up here has often played havoc with my lake water system, and I don’t care for climbing out on the chards to un-complicate the confrontation between ice and that water pipe.                                         
Weather conditions dried out after the soaking of the past ten days. Since then, we’ve had some spectacular sunny days, although temps have not been all that warm.                          
One could say it’s been about normal with nights being cold enough to make ice and daytimes in the high thirties to forties. Such weather circumstances match up well with the moniker of the full Ojibwe, maple sugar, moon which will be lighting up the north land this coming Monday evening.                                                                                                                                  
 Although not too unusual, snow was being predicted for border country, while I worked at my keyboard. It turned out this was no “April Fools” prank. A grumpy “old man winter” lashed out with nearly four inches of white in this neighborhood. Winds howled like January and I had to scoop and plow one more time. Perhaps this will be a final curtain call.                       
During the fine days of the previous week, yours truly took advantage to start opening things up around the place. To mention a couple chores, a pile of fire wood left under canvas cover last fall was moved to the woodshed and driveway gravel was put back in place after being relocated during the snow removal process.                                                                                    
 While the woods is reasonably damp right now, folks are reminded to get those wild fire sprinkler systems tuned up as the territory can wither fast when May comes onto the scene. Remember the Ham Lake inferno, be prepared!                                                                          
 I have not heard of any bear visitations yet, but they cannot be far away. Only we humans can prevent bear confrontations. Bears were here first, so let’s give ‘em a break, and be proactive in not tempting our “Bruno” neighbors into situations, where they will end up making a nuisance of themselves.                                                                                                         
 With plenty of bare ground with which to find nourishment, I’ve closed the deck side cafeteria for the coming season. It’s been a shock to the red squirrel clan around here, but they will just have to be digging into countless holes in the duff, where they have stashed a couple hundred pounds of seeds during colder times. From the number of holes appearing around the yard, they are not going to go hungry.                                                                                                   
In closing, hope you all remembered “Earth Day”, and maybe planted a tree or something green. We have the choice, so “why not do a positive thing for our earth and climate EVERY day!”                                                                                                                                                
 For WTIP, this is Wildersmith, along the Gunflint Trail, where every day is great, waiting for the green!